If the DII club leagues haven’t already named their post-season representatives, then the next two weekends will do the trick. Here’s an update on where the regional competitions stand and the games to follow this weekend:
Favorite Kansas City Jazz got its first win of the spring with a 53-point shutout over the Kansas Jayhawks. Fullback Abigail Smith scored the first four tries, before Tiffany Howard, Julie Bode, Michelle Rupard, Abby Higgins and LaChelle Coats tacked on a try apiece. There’s still two weekends of league play remaining, and the top four teams will move onto the Frontier championship on May 7-8.
Brandywine (8-0) and Harrisburg (7-1) have secured their berths to the MAC final four, but with two weeks remaining in play, the third and fourth spots are still vulnerable. There are three teams that could take those spots, but it really hinges on whether the Maryland Stingers (3-3) and Frederick (0-6) reschedule last weekend’s cancelled match. If the Stingers win its last two matches against Frederick and Chesapeake (1-5) and bank one bonus point, then it’ll surpass NOVA (4-3-1) in the standings for fourth.
The top two teams from each of the four pools play a divisional crossover (East 1 teams vs. East 2 teams, West 1 teams v West 2 teams) in what is essentially the Midwest quarterfinal round. The four victors move onto the Midwest final four weekend.
East 1: Buffalo (5-0) has clinched the top seed and will play its first and last spring league game against Akron (0-5) Saturday. Cleveland and Pittsburgh Highlanders are separated by one point in the standings, so Saturday’s winner will finish second and keep playing.
East 2: Cincinnati (5-1) and Louisville (5-1) are heading to playoffs but haven’t sorted out their seeds yet. The duo play each other Saturday to determine who’s in better shape after the long break.
West 1: County Will Morrigans (7-0-1) will advance as this pool’s top seed, but the second seed is up for grabs. League play resumes this weekend.
West 2: The headliner pits undefeated Wisconsin against 4-2 Milwaukee Scylla this weekend. Scylla should advance as the #2 seed out of the pool to divisional playoffs, so this game will serve as a good gauge for the post-season-bound teams.
Teams are warming up with friendlies, crossing over with DI teams in advance of the league final four on May 7-8. Standings leader Burlington will play Portland, and No. 2 and 3 seeds Providence and Hartford will square off. Albany will host the DII championship weekend.
Pacific Northwest: The league will hold its final four next weekend and see undefeated Emerald City vs. Budd Bay and Tacoma vs. Bend. The Mudhens ended regular season with an 87-3 win over Chuckanut Bay, sending outside center Sarah Coe across for four tries and seven other teammates for scores. The Pacific Northwest winner will play the NorCal winner on May 7 in Seattle for the berth to the national quarterfinals.
Northern California: Life West has run through league uncontested, wrapping up the regular season with a 56-0 win over #2 San Francisco Golden Gate. Wing Morgan Rovetti led with three tries, while six other teammates contributed to the scoreboard. This weekend begins the NorCal semifinals.
The South conference final four will be held April 30-May 1 and pit the Carolinas champ against True South victor Nashville, and the Carolinas runner-up against Florida’s number one team.
Florida: There’s a nice race between Orlando (4-1) and Fort Miami (3-1), both of which are fighting for the one seed to South playoffs. Both teams need to bank bonus points and ramp up their point differential in the final two weeks of play. Orlando shouldn’t have a problem against Indian River this weekend, but Jacksonville is a capable team that lost to Fort Miami by one point in the teams’ first meeting. Saturday’s rematch will test whether Fort Miami has rebounded from its loss to Orlando.
True South: Nashville was named True South champion in the fall and has filled its spring with friendlies. The Stonelions tuned up with a 37-36 win over Knoxville two weekends ago.
Carolinas: The conference looked like it was building toward a Charlotte vs. Augusta final, but then Atlanta reiterated itself as a threat with a 15-0 win over Augusta last weekend. Kristen Batts was particularly tough to stop and accounted for the Quins’ two tries. All three are heading to the Carolinas semifinals next weekend, and two will continue onto Souths.
There’s a big game this weekend between San Fernando and Ventura. Both are heading to the league semifinals with Tucson and Fullerton, but this match carries home-field stakes. If Ventura (5-1) wins, then it’s guaranteed the home seed, and San Fernando (4-2) likely heads to Tucson, Ariz., for its playoff match (although there is a chance that San Fernando could overcome #3 Fullerton in the standings but two bonus points would be needed). If San Fernando wins, then it must bank bonus points or otherwise overcome point differential in the standings for the home gig.